Why would I ever need to evacuate?

Hmmm, I dunno…

Fatal train derailment involving chorine tank cars at Graniteville, South Carolina 1-6-2005

Fatal train derailment involving chlorine tank cars at Graniteville, South Carolina, 2005

According the Federal Railroad Administration Office of Safety Analysis, about every 4 hours a train in the US is involved in an accident.  In the last three years, this means that there were over 6,300 incidents during that time, many of those resulted in derailment. Of those 6,300 accidents, I counted the officially reported causes, and stopped counting at 250 different reasons for the accidents. Mostly they break down to:

  • Mechanical defects with rails, and an aging track system
  • Manufacturer defects with train components
  • Human error, communication breaches
  • Improper speed (too fast and too slow, who knew?)
  • Uneven loading
  • Obstacles; fallen trees, animals, landslides
  • Railroad crossing collisions

Raise your hand if you live within 5 miles of a railroad track.

This is just one potential threat to the safety of your family.  Last night a train in Ohio derailed and spewed flames after an explosion.  People were evacuated if they lived within a mile of the track.  They got notification at 2 am.  Now tell me, when someone wakes you up at 2am, are you able to think clearly let alone carry on a lucid conversation.  What would you have grabbed when leaving?

In this case, the threat was fire for some and unknown and possibly toxic fumes for everyone in the vicinity.  We don’t know what that train is hauling and has just released into the air over your home.  This isn’t a 15 minute pack-up window, this is a get-out-now-with-what-you-have-on-your-back and can grab on the way out sort of evacuation.  Box #1 is what you are grabbing if you have time in this case.

Hopefully you can rouse the kids quickly.  Splitting up the responsibilities between the adults is the best use of the little time you have.  One grabs the kits, the other grabs the kids and pets.  Don’t assume that the other spouse knows what their job is, Say it out-loud, “Honey, you get your shoes and the 5 kits in the front closet and put them in the car.  I will get the kids and meet you in the garage.”

I would guess that the majority of us live close enough to a rail line for this to be a threat, why not take steps now to prevent problems for our family.

In case you don’t believe me are interested, I’ll include links to some train accident stories below:

Have a wonderful day, and have fun working on your ‘boxes’




What do you think?